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Have your say: National Pain Week survey is now open

06 Jun 2019
Have your say: National Pain Week survey is now open News image

As part of its National Pain Week awareness campaign, Chronic Pain Australia (CPA) conducts a survey each year to gain valuable feedback from people living with chronic pain.

The survey aims to provide a snapshot of what people living with chronic pain are saying about how pain is managed in Australia.

It’s a great opportunity for those with pain to highlight what you most need from GPs, pharmacists, federal government and the general community.

The survey is now live and the CPA wants to hear from you. Simply click here to have your say.

The event is open to people living with chronic pain, industry colleagues and media and survey results will be announced in Melbourne on July 22.

Important to have your voice heard

Last year, more than 1300 people took part in the survey – and more than 82 percent of respondents were female.

Jarrod McMaugh, President of Chronic Pain Australia, is encouraging more males to have a say this year.

Many males – particularly middle age men – do not focus on health issues until it becomes a crisis or something you can’t ignore, he says.

“But we would like to hear from everyone – including males – it’s important to have your voice heard.”

During National Pain Week, people living with chronic pain are also encouraged to share their experiences and ideas on the chronic pain forum or on social media using the hashtags #NPW2019, #nationalpainweek, #equalpartnersinhealthcare.

Leaders in the medical and political communities are also encouraged to support the initiative using the hashtags. They are encouraged to engage with Chronic Pain Australia and its members to look at ways they can better develop their understanding of the condition.

This year’s theme

National Pain Week, to be held from July 22-28, is an annual initiative of Chronic Pain Australia, the national voice of people living with chronic pain.

The week aims to destigmatise the experiences of people living with chronic pain while also championing the need for the voice of people living with chronic pain to be heard when any related health policy is developed.

This year’s theme Equal Partners in Healthcare further highlights the need to recognise the voice of people living with chronic pain in any decision making process around treatment.

“It is important to have stakeholders from all areas involved in policy development,” says McMaugh. “But we must not lose sight of the fact that people in pain are central to the decision making process.

“That’s what drives CPA,” he says.

Also, National Pain Week will again feature a Q&A Facebook Live event on Chronic Pain Australia’s Facebook page, to beheld on Tuesday July 23, from 5-6pm.

The panel will explore the ways in which medical professionals can assist people with chronic pain be equal partners in their health care. The panel will be taking questions from people living with chronic pain and include representatives from health peak bodies.

And for the first time a Pharmacists Roundtable will be held.

The Roundtable provides a forum for pharmacy experts to discuss the ways in which pharmacists can continue to support and better serve people living with chronic pain in Australia.

Facts on chronic pain:

  • Chronic pain is arguably Australia and the world’s fastest growing medical condition.
  • One in five Australians lives with chronic pain including adolescents and children. This prevalence rises to one in three people over the age of 65.
  • One in five GP consultations involve a patient with chronic pain and almost five percent report severe, disabling chronic pain.
  • The prevalence of chronic pain is projected to increase as Australia's population ages – from around 3.2 million in 2007 to 5 million by 2050.
  • Chronic pain is pain that doesn’t go away when the injury or illness has resolved - and lasts for longer than three months.
  • It can be associated with chronic disease or injury e.g. arthritis, lupus, cancer and even ongoing infection post injury.
  • Many people live with chronic pain that does not have an obvious explanation in the structures of the body. In these situations, the nervous system and brain play a key role.
  • Pain that relates to sensitisation of the nervous system can be particularly problematic. It is invisible and can lead to stigma.
  • Chronic pain can have significant impact on a person’s ability to work, form relationships, and live an ordinary life.
  • Chronic pain can also have a seriously detrimental effect on the mental health of people living with the condition.

WHAT: National Pain Week

WHEN: Monday July 22 to Sunday July 28


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